Kandy Skipper Kamindu Mendis and Colombo leg spinner Prabath Jayasuriya came on top of batting and bowling at the concluded National Super League (NSL) 4 day cricket tournament conducted by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in which Kandy emerged champions.
The terrific batting performances by 23-year-old Kamindu Mendis was the highlight of this inaugural tournament. Mendis displayed his batting ability throughout the tournament scoring 886 runs in six matches with an average of 80.54. He scored 4 centuries as well as 4 half centuries also leading from the front to take the inaugural title.
The Kandy coach Malinda Warnapura said all the players made fine team effort to get this success while as a coach I always gave a free hand to the players during this tournament and that was the key to win this title. The young Mendis was never upset by the pressure as a leader and that was his success during his batting said Warnapura. He also gave credit to all supporting staff including Assistant coaches Shanuka Dissanayake and Dinuk Hettiarachchi. Kandy lost to Jaffna in their National Super League limited over final but this time they fought back strongly to take the title by defeating same opponent Jaffna. In fact this was the leading domestic tournament.
Kandy came to the tournament with powerful battling line up and that helped to gain this success. They scored over 400 runs in a innings five trims in this tournament which proved their strength of the batting.The first three most successful batsmen of the tournament from Kandy.
Mendis was leading while Oshada Fernando the stylish 29 year old right hander Oshada Fernando the second best batter of the tournament scoring 721 runs in six matches with an average of 80.11 also having four centuries and 3 half centuries while Lahiru Udana who scored 464 runs with five half centuries. A century and two half centuries while Kandy opener Kamil Mishara scored 326 runs with two half centuries in this tournament.
Meanwhile Colombo middle order batter Roshen Silva was the highest individual scorer with an unbeaten 174 having 304 in just 4 matches with an average of 101.33 runs. The 34 year old right hander Roshen was unfortunately tested Covid positive before the most important semi final match for Colombo side which won by Jaffna led by Dhananjaya de Silva. Jaffna paceman Nuwan Pradeep also missed the final due to injury having bast bowling figures 7 for 52 in an innings.
The bowling honours took by Colombo leg spinner Prabath Jayasuriya who has taken highest wickets of 26 including three 5 wickets hauls and a one match bag of ten wicket. Jayasuriya also the unlucky bowler having tested positive for Covid to miss their semi final. Dambula’s leg spinner Malinda Pushpakumara was the second best bowler of the tournament having 24 wickets with best figures 0f 7 for 120. Kandy pacman Asitha Fernando came to the limelight among the pacemen while he took 17 wickets with best figures of 4 for39 while young off spinner Ashian Daniel also from Kandy had 16 wickets with best figured of 5 for 75 in his debut four day game of this tournament . Especially Kamindu Mendis , Oshada Fernando and pacmean Asitha Fernando and Prabath Jayasuriya having good performances gave a timely reminder to the selectors before the Bangladesh test series.
Kamindu Mendis was adjudged Best Player of the tournament while Oshada Fernando and Prabath Jayasuriya were named Best Batter and Best Bowler of the tournament. The winning Kandy team won Rs.5,000,000 cash award for their inaugural championship while runners up Jaffna team won Rs. 2,500, 000 cash award.
The Player of the Tournament Kamindu Mendis won the Rs.500, 000 cash award while Oshada Fernando and Prabath Jayasuriya won Rs. 250,000 cash awards each.
Best batting performances of the tournament
1 Kamindu Mendis (Kandy|) 886 runs , 2. Oshada Fernando (Kandy) 721 runs , 3. Lahiru Udara (Kandy) 464 runs, 4. Saminda Fernando ( Jaffna ) 454 runs , 5. Pabasara Waduge (Galle) 421 runs, 6. Minod Bhanuka (Jaffna) 418 runs 7.Nishan Madushka(Jaffna) 394 runs , 8. Sahan Arachchige (Kandy) 388 runs
Best bowling performances
1.Prabath Jayasuriya (Colombo) 26 wickets, 2. Malinda Pushpakumara (Dambulla) 24 wickets, 3. Asitha Fernando (Kandy)17 wickets, 4. Ashain Daniel(Kandy ) 16 wickets, 5. Chanaka Ruwansiri (Galle) 15 wickets , 6. Lakshitha Manasinghe (Colombo) 15 wickets, 7. Dhananjaya de Silva (Jaffna) 14 wickets, 8. Akila Dananjaya(Galle) 14 wickets